Denison’s biennial tiny TUTTI Music Festival is based on the Department of Music’s week-long TUTTI Festival and as the name implies, features a two-night exhibition of original collaborations between people across art disciplines, from musicians and composers to dance and theater artists.

“Tutti” is a music term taken from the Italian word for “all together.” It’s an apt description of this festival. Curated by Chris Westover-Muñoz, an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Denison Wind Ensemble, it will be two nights of spiritual exploration through music.

The first evening of tiny TUTTI is an exploration and celebration of the Buddhist music tradition, led by Lama Adam Berner, who works in Denison’s Center for Spiritual Life. Music is only part of the wider event, which will include meditation instruction, discussion with guests from the Tibetan and Himalayan community, and examination of the Denison Museum’s famous Buddhist collection.

“It might be different for some folks. I hope it will present something new,” Westover-Muñoz said.

The second evening follows a similar theme. A collaboration between the Wind Ensemble and the Gospel Choir “grew out of a desire to explore similar ideas within different cultures,” Westover-Muñoz explained. He asked Reverend Tim Carpenter, Director of the Denison Gospel Choir, to help curate a collaboration that focused on Black gospel music tradition.

Tasked with composing a piece to perform, Rev. Carpenter was excited. It is the first collaboration between the Wind Ensemble and Gospel Choir. He chose to put together a compilation of songs that Black churches use for procession in their services.

“Sacred music forms a big part of music in the Western tradition,” Westover-Muñoz said. “In classical music, we often play sacred music from the Christian tradition—settings of the Latin Mass, for example—but we wanted tiny TUTTI to be more expansive and to explore other sacred traditions.”

Music is at the heart of the spiritual theme, connecting the two nights of performances.

“I believe that music is spiritual, period,” Rev. Carpenter said. “The expression of music should be used to uplift the individual and challenge them on occasion.”

February 28, 2023